10 MAR 17 – Executive Intelligence Summary – Forward Observer Shop

10 MAR 17 – Executive Intelligence Summary


[wcm_nonmember]In this EXSUM… (1960 words)

  • Foreign cyber capabilities ‘far exceed’ US ability to defend critical infrastructure
  • Defense in brief
  • Russia, China, North Korea SITREPs
  • Shock prediction: Hussman says market could plunge 60 percent
  • Gross: Another credit crisis could be around the corner
  • And more…


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Bottom Line Up Front: An anarchist/anti-capitalist blog called A Las Barricadas (To the Barricades; a popular leftist/anarchist song during the Spanish Civil War) recently published an interesting take on the black bloc movement.  (Black bloc doesn’t refer to a specific organization, but to a tactic and a movement.)

The author, who is apparently a committed anarchist with anti-capitalist and pro-social justice leanings, begins by opining that many people involved in black blocs don’t actually understand how they work.  The goal is to use protests as cover for black bloc action, which could include destruction of property, propagandizing via making the news, and preventing the police from arresting protestors or black bloc members.  The article goes on to outline some advice for black bloc members who are resisting police action, usually during a riot.  That advice includes using shields and protective gear; making Molotov cocktails; using slingshots to injure police; and creating oil slicks peppered with marbles to create a barrier that will injure police and their horses.  It’s an insightful look into what black blocs of the future might look like.  (SOURCE: https://barricadasblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/on-black-bloc/)

On a separate note, I’ve been cataloguing the social media accounts of Antifa groups and Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) chapters.  (IWW is a pro-union, socialist organization.)  Below you’ll find the links to download the lists of Antifa and IWW Facebook pages, with links.  If you have groups near you, I highly encourage that you take a look at some of their recent posts to give you an idea about their future intent and activities.  We’ll be monitoring the more active/violent groups here at FO and pushing out updates as necessary.

Antifa Facebook Pages (list)

IWW Facebook Pages (list)


Priority Intelligence Requirements:

PIR1: What are the current indicators of systems disruption or instability that could lead to civil unrest or violence?

PIR2: What are the current indicators of an outbreak of global conflict?

PIR3: What are the current indicators of organized political violence?

PIR4: What are the current indicators of economic, financial, or monetary instability?

PIR1: What are the current indicators of systems disruption or instability that could lead to civil unrest or violence?

Defense panel: Foreign cyber capabilities ‘far exceed’ US ability to defend critical infrastructure

In a February 2017 report, the Defense Science Board writes that, “[M]ajor powers (e.g., Russia and China) have a significant and growing ability to hold U.S. critical infrastructure at risk via cyber attack,” and their capabilities outpace the US ability to defend critical infrastructure for at least the next decade.  The report goes on to detail regional powers like Iran and North Korea, as well as criminal and terrorist capabilities.  The next conflict with any of the major or regional powers is likely to include cyber attacks, and it’s an event for which we should be prepared.  Systems disruption to financial, energy, and/or information infrastructure is a distinct possibility. (DOWNLOAD)


CIA’s Morrell:  Risk of terror will grow

CIA former deputy director Mike Morrell stated at a recent conference that the risk of terror threats will grow in the future, as the Islamic State is defeated and some fighters attempt to infiltrate the US.  Morrell also stated that the threat to US airports is also increasing due to insider threats.  “The threat is actually going to get worse over the next several years,” Morrell said.  (SOURCE)


PIR2: What are the current indicators of an outbreak of global conflict?

The prospects of global conflict continue to revolve four geopolitical actor: Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.  In the event of war with any of these nations, consider domestic systems disruption a distinct possibility.

Defense in Brief:

Despite the emergence of space and cyber battle as pressing national security issues, questions remain as to the US military’s mutlidomain readiness.  Multidomain refers to not only the traditional battlespaces of air, land, and sea, but also space and cyber/information warfare.  In late January, the Defense Science Board was tasked to study a multidomain military response, as the Pentagon noted that doctrine and policy are currently “inadequate to support a fully integrated response.”  There’s a high likelihood that the next major conflict is multidomain; that is, it will include space and cyber warfare.  For additional information, see this week’s US-China SITREP.

The US Army has deployed to Europe Stryker combat vehicles, which are outfitted with a Counter-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (C-UAV) prototype to jam and track enemy drones.  Last week I reported that the Pentagon is expecting drone swarm attacks in the future.  Since drone technology is relatively cheap (and getting cheaper), we should expect these types of attack vectors to migrate to other parts of the world, even to conventional militaries.

According to the Pentagon, US nuclear missiles are “nearing a crossroads” concerning lack of nuclear modernization.  “[W]e are currently depending on ‘just-in-time’ modernization and replacement of the nuclear enterprise,” said one top officer.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, all of the US nuclear delivery systems and weapons will need to be “refurbished or replaced” in order to maintain US strategic deterrence against potential adversaries who are also modernizing their nuclear forces.



NATO member states, along with non-NATO members like Finland and Sweden, continue to prepare for a potential conflict with Russia.  NATO nations accuse Russia building up military assets for use in increasing its interests beyond its current borders, while Russia accuses NATO of doing the same.  And European nations are practically begging the US military to remain in Europe (i).

In October 2015, I wrote that a joint venture among NATO nations would contribute to building a counterintelligence (CI) training center in Poland (ii).  This week, that Centre of Excellence became operational (iii), which will allow greater CI coordination in NATO’s fight against Russian espionage, which has increased considerably over the past decade.

Read File:

i. EU diplomats warn US of Russian military threat

ii. Is NATO getting serious about counterintelligence?

iii. NATO welcomes its 24th COE



As has been reported for months, China is reacting angrily to the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries to South Korea.  Xinhua, China’s official state press agency, has threatened the US and South Korea with “an arms race in the region”.  (The truth is that China has been engaged in an arms race for the better part of 30 years, but now its neighbors are also participating.)  Last month, Chinese officials warned that the THAAD site in South Korea would be on their targeting list were a US-China war to break out.  There’s also been talk of using laser or directed energy weapons against the THAAD system in order to disable it.  “Resolute countermeasures against Washington’s anti-missile achievements are the only way to sustain the current strategic balance,” the Global Times wrote last month (i).  That same editorial suggested that China should focus investment into missile penetration of US anti-missile assets.

Read File:

i.  http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1031669.shtml

Is Beijing outflanking US in South China Sea?

Filipino defense officials visit US carrier in South China Sea

China Steps Into the Latin American Void Trump Has Left Behind


North Korea SITREP

The US and South Korea have forged ahead with the THAAD deployment, following this past weekend’s North Korean missile tests.  A North Korean military official claimed that the missile tests were dry runs for attack US military bases in Japan.  Last week I reported that two US Navy admirals both believe that the most likely conflict right now will be against the North Korea’s Kim regime.  Last month, SECDEF Mattis warned North Korea that any attack against the US or its allies will be met with “overwhelming” force, although no statement has been released by the White House concerning a way forward.  The New York Times reported this week that three years ago, the Obama administration ordered cyber attacks against North Korean missile tests.  Specifically, the program targeted North Korean missiles as they were launching apparently causing some of the tests to fail (i).

Read File:

i. Trump inherits a secret cyberwar against North Korea missiles


PIR3: What are the current indicators of organized political violence?

Political Violence Roll-Up:

CA: Trump supporters attacked in Berkeley by black bloc

UT: Anti-Trump rally on Univ of Utah campus results in violence, arrests

VT: Violent protest aimed to shut down libertarian speaker at Middlebury College

VT: Professor attacked by Antifa at Middlebury College


Antifa Roll-Up:

CA: Black bloc tactics become prevalent in Bay Area protests

CA: CHP to recommend charges against 106 Antifa members for last June’s events


#TheResistance Roll-Up:

AL: Indivisible movement growing in Alabama, ‘creative resistance’

DC: Upcoming protests

Former AG Lynch encourages anti-Trump protests

ICE releases Argentine woman facing deportation after protests



Black Lives Matter Roll-Up:

CA: Judge approves restraining order against BLM member

CA: 12 BLM members arrested after protest

CO: Denver counterterror ‘settings sights on BLM’

MN: BLM members plotted to burn down capitol?

TN: BLM members call for resignation of Memphis public officials

BLM finds renewed focus five years after Trayvon Martin

Teen book about BLM makes NY Bestsellers List


Black Panthers/Black Separatist Roll-Up:


PIR4: What are the current indicators of economic, financial, or monetary instability that lead to worsening economic conditions or civil unrest?

Shock prediction: Hussman says market could plunge 60 percent

According to John Hussman, the market is as overvalued as it was in 2007 and could shed as much as 60 percent of its value in the near term.  Hussman also warned that for the next decade, the S&P won’t outperform one percent per year, on average.  That’s very negative sentiment, and the author of the article warns that Hussman’s ability to call the market — like he apparently did before the 2008 crash — is waning.  Last year, his $7 billion fund was down 11 percent, despite the S&P being up by about the same amount. (SOURCE)


Gross: Another credit crisis could be around the corner

The godfather of bond investing warned in his most recent investment outlook not to get caught up in promises of economic growth or a well-performing stock market because another credit crisis could be around the corner.  This crisis could be triggered globally by defaults, and made worse due to fractional reserve banking.  Gross tells this analogy:  ““Pretend…the bank owes you a buck any time you want to withdraw it. But the bank says to itself, “She probably won’t need this buck for a while, so I’ll lend it to Joe who wants to start a pizza store.” Joe borrows the buck and pays for flour, pepperoni and a pizza oven from Sally’s Pizza Supplies, who then deposits it back in the same bank in their checking account. Your one and only buck has now turned into two. You have a bank account with one buck and Sally’s Pizza has a checking account with one buck. Both parties have confidence that their buck is actually theirs, even though there’s really only one buck in the bank’s vault. The bank itself has doubled its assets and liabilities. Its assets are the one buck in its vault and the loan to Joe; its liabilities are the buck it owes to you – the original depositor – and the buck it owes to Sally’s Pizza. The cycle goes on of course, lending and relending the simple solitary dollar bill (with regulatory reserve requirements) until like a magician with a wand and a black hat, the fractional reserve system pulls five or six rabbits out of a single top hat.”



Mike Shelby is a former military intelligence NCO and contract intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

1 Comment

  1. I figured Loretta Lynch’s comments/video would get a little more attention by your EXSUM with all of the work that you’ve been putting into Antifa lately. That video seemed a little “off the rails”, considering she is a former AG, even as left leaning as she is. Do you think it will get much airtime with the Antifa groups and did she ever “explain” the reasoning behind making the video anywhere?

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